«My paintings are the battlefield of my soul, where my loves and phobias face off»
A major artist of the Spanish scene, where he inspired a whole generation of artists, Villalba benefited from a major retrospective at the Museo Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain) in 2007 and an important exhibition at the Sala de Alcalá (Madrid, Spain) in 2019 curated by Manuel Segade (current director of the Museo Reina Sofia). However, his work has rarely been shown internationally, with the exception of his “Encapsulados”, which were exhibited by Emma Lavigne at the 14th Lyon Biennale (France), and by the Pinault Collection at the Couvent des Jacobins (Rennes, France) in 2018. Following the announcement of the representation of his estate, Galerie Poggi is set to paint a cross- sectional portrait of the artist’s production.
The gallery will present several large-format works, including a rare “Encapsulado”, three large polyptychs previously exhibited at the Reina Sofia and the Sala de Alcalá, and a substantial collection of “Documentos Básicos”.
The exhibition will highlight the avant-garde nature of Villalba’s use of photography as a material, which placed him firmly into the field of contemporary art from the 1960s onwards, leading him into painting, sculpture and installation. It is through such plastic manipulations that Villalba places himself fully within the pop movement ( whose key figures he frequented, following the example of Andy Warhol) to produce a counterpoint to it. As Manuel Segade states in the “Pop Soul” catalog :« The manipulation of images triggers the exact opposite of their original context, the commercial flow of soulless objects. As the artist himself explains : « My work is a response to Pop, which mass-produces consumption images; conversely, I individualize them to give them maximum, even religious, transcendence. »
The singularity of his “Pop Soul” approach is what earned him early exposure at the art world’s major gatherings, such as the Venice Biennale in 1970, where he represented Spain, and the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1973.
The exhibition at the gallery is organized in collaboration with Darío Villalba’s estate and Galería Luis Adelantado in Valencia (Spain).
It will be held from December 16, 2023 to February 3, 2024, and will feature several conferences and events.
For more information, please visit https://galeriepoggi.com.